Apple producers ready to shake off cold year
Quebec annually produces around 6 million bushels of apples, but this year cooler weather means apples are smaller than usual, and the industry is expecting a 10 per cent drop in production.
"We've got an equivalent of a one-month delay on the growing season," said Quinn Farm co-owner Phil Quinn.
Though the look and taste remain of high-quality this year, the imperfection caused by hail storms and other weather events means the apples are left imperfect to the eye.
"A lot of us have been hailed out this past summer," said Quinn. "On the 27th of June, we had a really bad hail event here in the farm come through. It damaged around 90 per cent of our fruit. They'll have some kind of little nick on them."
Quinn feels his family-run business will take a financial hit this year, but he knows his losses won't be as bad as some, as the business is 100 per cent retail.
"We do not wholesale anything," he said. "If we were to wholesale our production this year, we'd be getting 10 cents on the dollar. It wouldn't even be worth picking them."
The Apple Producers Association of Quebec is advising producers to be patient, and the crop should be close as good as past years.
"We hope that we don't see too many apples being marketed too early because they won't be good," "We do set dates for marketing to make sure that the fruit, by variety, is marketed at the right time for it to be optimal maturity and taste and firmness."